By Tim Leeds 

Ex- school board chief charged

Havre's Shad Huston indicted in Rocky Boy scandal


Last updated 10/30/2013 at 7:15am

Two more sets of charges alleging fraud and embezzlement of federal funds allocated to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation were unsealed in federal court in Great Falls this morning.

One set charges former Havre school board president Shad Huston and two of his consulting companies with embezzlement and conspiracy. He was charged for activities in his private business, unrelated to his public office. He left office in 2009.

Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. CEO Tony Belcourt, a former state representative and former elected member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee, was charged in both cases this morning, the third and fourth set of charges filed against him this year.

His wife, Hailey Belcourt, was charged in one case — the third time she has been indicted.

James Howard Eastlick Jr. and Hunter Burns, owner of Hunter Burns Construction, also were charged in one case, the second indictment against them.

All defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges, with Judge Keith string entering a not guilty plea for Burns, who is in the hospital and not able to attend, along with Burns’ construction company, also named in the indictment

In the first indictment unsealed today, Tony and Hailey Belcourt and Huston and his two companies, K and N Consulting and TMP Services were charged with counts including conspiracy to embezzle, theft from an Indian tribal government receiving federal funds and offering or accepting bribes.

The government served notice that if the defendants are proven guilty, it will seek fines against Huston’s businesses.

In the second set of indictments, Tony Belcourt and Eastlick and Burns were charged including with filing false claims against a federally funded project and theft from an Indian tribal government. Again, the charges include seeking fines against Hunter Burns Construction if he is found guilty.

Strong said Chief District Judge Dana Christensen had set a pretrial conference for each case on Nov. 13.

The indictments are the latest in a string of charges filed alleging embezzlement of federal funds on Indian reservations, both on Rocky Boy and on other reservations in Montana.


Reader Comments(24)

EagleII writes:

Did they set a trial date for these new people and charges? Did they appear on Nov. 13th?

jerryb writes:

To The Truth-it was a facetious comment to make jerry b-tony's bro-realize the stupidity of his comment on bragging his brother built the corp up from nothing

Watcheseagle writes:

Snickers makes a very good point...others had to notice the transfers of huge sums of money from one personal account to another...wasn't the bank at least curious??? did they have a legal obligation to alert authorities??

snickers2013 writes:

I'm angry disgusted about the tribal members who new of these alleged incidents and did nothing. NOTHING! You know there had to be finance meetings, check requests signed, budgetary decisions to make. You can not tell me Tony & Shad did these things without anyone else knowing. We voted in some real leaders!

kyle writes:

Yeah a few of mine are not being published either and all I was doing was explaining to concerned that native americans I know pay federal taxes but there are a lot of taxes you don't pay because you live on the reservation. You don't pay taxes like people living off the reservation do you pay state income taxes?? No do you pay property taxes NO and there are others

Watcheseagle writes:

How is right HDN does indeed censor the comments and only allows certain persons a voice!! I have commented on several stories in the news and have yet to have one of my comments actually be published online!

TheTruth writes:

He built the company? What a stupid comment. Does that mean he has the right to steal? Does that mean he has the right to steal from our tribe? He doesn't care. He has a big ranch and a nice moniyahs wife lol. Now he must pay the piper for acting like a thief.

concerned writes:

Cut them all off and see how Havre will hurt! Indians are not the only people that get federal funds there are many farmers that benefit from federal funding too! And, lets not forget Indians pay taxes so their tax dollars have been stolen too, we live and pay taxes just the same as the whites! This whole thing is disgusting. You want to say where were the feds, the Tribe is a mini fed performing the same job as the government.Except, its now proven they can't manage. Government take it back.

jerryb writes:

Tony built this company up from nothing- Jerry

JohnKelleherHDN writes:

Joe: The story in Tuesday's Havre Daily News was written on deadline from Great Falls before the indictments were open. They have now been opened, and details will appear in today's newspaper. John Kelleher, managing editor, Havre Daily News

Kiddingme writes:

Are you kidding me where is the federal government in this mess of ensuring that the money is spent where it was intended too? Its not about ndn and nonndn. Its about the govt responsibility to its own ppl to ensure all federal funds that was collected by my taxes that I paid into that the money was spent where it was intended for!! This disgusts me..Maybe the feds need to be reviewed on job performance!!!

Joe writes:

The radio news report said CCC paid Shad's front companies %650,000 of which he kicked back %300,000 to Belcourt. Seems we are missing some facts in this story and we may have to wait until trial to get the real story

concerned writes:

What I'd like to know, is if these individuals are convicted of these charges, will the Tribe also take them to court and sue them for the monies they stole, put a lien on their Tribal lands, live stock, homes, etc; what ever it takes to retrieve the lost funds. It shouldn't matter if they are native or white, Tribe should sue these individual or hold them also accountable in Tribal court.

Kyle writes:

@wondertoo you have a short memory there are more natives then just those two. We have been paying for that land for over 200 years time to grow up and support yourself. Feels good to be self sufficient you should try it.

wonderingduex writes:

these alleged native and non-native thieves all have a few things in common they all play poker together, and are very dishonarable.

bill writes:

It got out of hand back in the day. A system ripe for corruption or culture of corruption, cliches that are the root cause of current events. Those bad boys back then manipulated the courts and election board, bought and bribed the people to stay in office. Nothing has changed. Either the sitting members of said felon administrations were involved or incredibly negligent. They all must go. Then the recovery process can begin.

Notsuprised writes:

Doesn't surprise me. All the town wannabes start out on the school board

Stunned writes:

I dont know how good your math is but there is several more natives other than belcourt and hunter that have been indicted, from the sounds of it there will be several more whites and natives indicted.

Racist writes:

Wonderingtoo............ Natives and whites both have a percentage of thieves that will steal from everyone and anyone. That was a racist comment.

How writes:

I love how the HDN choses which comments to censor. Let me try this again. How does a off-reservation and non-native person like Shad get his fingers in the money pot to begin with?

HOW writes:

How is it white guys got their fingers into the money pot in the first place?

Wonderingtoo writes:

I agree with WONDERING. With the exception of Hunter Burns and Tony Belcourt, the rest are all non-natives. When will the white man quit stealing from the poor Indians. Haven't you taken enough already.

Stunned writes:

The correct answer to your question wondering is yes. The people on the reservations need to be protected from themselves. When you have a convicted thief reelected after he gets out of prison there is a problem. The next line of thieves are already lining up to replace this bunch. We will be reading the exact same story with a bunch of new names in about 5 years.

wondering writes:

responding to comments on other articles, I wonder; since most of these people charged are actually not enrolled on the rez and don't live there, in some cases they actually lived in havre, does that mean that these crooked Indians should still be cut off?


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